By HAL McCOY
CINCINNATI — The last time Brandon Finnegan faced the Los Angeles Dodgers, in LA’s Chavez Ravine, the feisty little left hander held the Dodgers to one run, pitched a complete game — and lost to Clayton Kershaw, 1-0.
On Saturday night in Great American Ball Park, facing the Dodgers without the handicap of facing Clayton Kershaw, Finnegan made certain nothing went wrong — he held the Dodgers to no runs and no hits over six innnings.
By the time LA first baseman Adrian Gonzalez poked a leadoff single to right center leading off they seventh inning, expunging the no-hitter, the Reds had hammered and hammered and nailed and nailed until they provided Finnegan with an eight-run lead.
After the Gonzalez hit, Finnegan retired the final three in the seventh. Then the rains came, delaying the game 79 minutes. When play resumed, the Reds completed an all-out rout, 11-1, a nice matched set to the 9-2 drubbing they hung on the Dodgers Friday night.
ON SATURDAY THEY OUTHIT the Dubious Dodgers, 18-3, and won their fifth straight game, their longest winning streak of the season. Finnegan went seven innings, gave up no runs, one hit, two walks, struck out eight and again was a demon to the Dodgers.
“It was as sharp as I’ve seen Finnegan,” said manager Bryan Price. “We got him runs so he didn’t have to be so exact.”
Said Finnegan, “I was just worried about making quality pitches. I had ommand of all three of my pitches. Gonzalez hit that ball hard, but you never know when Brandon Phillips is around. We had the shift on, but he beat it.”
DODGERS STARTER BRETT ANDERSON felt as if the Great American Ball Park mound was a time capsule, felt as if he was frozen in space.
The Dodgers left handed starter was making his secon start after spending most of the season on the disabled list after lower back surgery. And the second verse was same as the first.
In his first start, five days ago, the Pittsburgh Pirates crushed and crunched him for five runs and five hits (two home runs) in the first inning.
And that was all he pitched, so he lugged a 45.00 earned run average into Saturday night’s game.
IN HIS SECOND START, Saturday night against the Reds, he gave up four runs and four hits in the first inning, including a three-run home run by Adam Duvall. Duvall hadn’t played since early in the week when he fouled a ball off his instep.
Amazingly, by giving up four runs instead of five in the first inning against the Reds, Anderson’s earned run average actually shrunk — to 40.50.
To add insult to the deep hurt the Dodgers are suffering in Cincinnati, former Dodger Jose Peraza had three hits and drove in three runs, two on a home run in the third inning that stretched the Reds lead to 7-0. Peraza, recalled from Class AAA Louisville just prior to Saturday’s game, came to the Reds from the Dodgers in the three-team trade that shipped Todd Frazier to the Chicago White Sox.
And to rub it in even more, Scott Schebler, also an ex-Dodger who came to the Reds in the Frazier deal, polished off the night with a two-run home run in the eighth inning.
“I feel happy to come back here and contribute to the team winning,” said Peraza. “I worked on small details when I went back to Louisville. I put them to work. It was easier playing every day (in Louisville). I found my rhythm.
“Freddie Benavides (first base coach) told me I had home runs in two straight games,” he added. Peraza homered against San Diego, his last game before he was sent down to Louisville so he could play every day.
Manager Dave Roberts did Anderson no favors by benching regulars Chase Utley, Corey Seager and Yasmani Grandal and replacing them with Kike Hernandez (.196), Chris Taylor (.231) and A.J. Ellis (.231) and Finnegan took full advantage, just as the Reds took full advantage of Anderson’s rustiness.